USDA Lowers Ag Export Forecast, Raises Imports

February 25, 2009 06:00 PM

Pro Farmer Editors


USDA says fiscal 2009 agricultural exports are forecast at $95.5 billion, down $3 billion from November and $20 billion below record 2008 sales. USDA says the outlook for the global economy has weakened further since November, eroding demand for all agricultural products and U.S. grain and feed exports are pressured further by large competitor supplies.

Outlook for U.S. Ag Trade

"Abundant supplies of wheat and competitively-priced feed substitutes lead to further reductions in grain and feed unit values, and U.S. exports of coarse grains and other feeds are lowered 2.8 million tons and 1.5 million tons, respectively. Cotton export volume is lowered as the outlook for the global economy continues to weaken. Benefiting from near record import demand from China and reduced South American supply, U.S. soybean shipments are increased 3.5 million tons from November and are now forecast slightly above last year’s level, but lower unit value reduces export value," says USDA. "Weak foreign demand lowers the forecast for U.S. exports of animal products, with especially large decreases for pork, dairy products, fats, and hides. Horticultural exports remain unchanged from November’s forecast and $700 million above last year’s sales which, if realized, would be the slowest growth in seven years."

USDA says fiscal 2009 agricultural imports are raised $1.5 billion from November to a record $82.5 billion. "Weak consumer spending and contracting domestic demand reduce import growth to the slowest rate in many years. Nevertheless, increases are forecast for vegetable oils, fresh fruit, sugar, and cocoa," they add.



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